We have pointed out more than a few times the tendency of media, politicians and activists (at the risk of repeating ourselves again) to call heat climate and cold weather. And true to form, as serious snowstorms hit eastern North America early this year, outlets like CNBC reported things like “Residents of northern New York state were digging out Saturday morning from a dangerous lake-effect snowstorm that had dropped more than 6 feet of snow in some areas and caused several deaths” with no reference to climate other than carelessly posting it in their “CLIMATE” section.
Sure enough, NBC tried to split the difference, posting in what it calls “News” rather than its “Climate in Crisis” section that:
“As the planet has warmed from the increase in greenhouse gases, so have the lakes, meaning more evaporation into the atmosphere during the winter. This has led to an increase in lake-effect snow, but that trend is not expected to last.”
So global warming brings more snow. But also less:
“A recent study used a regional climate model to investigate these changes in lake-effect snow if the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions continues. By midcentury, the amount of seasonal lake-effect snow is projected to increase modestly, as the Great Lakes will remain ice-free longer into the winter. However, as the air warms, the amount of snow during the transitional seasons of late fall and early spring is expected to decrease, with more of the precipitation falling as rain.”
Professional weather forecaster Joe Bastardi, whose living depends on accurate forecasts where activists’ living depends on lurid ones, Tweeted that “The blizzard of 1966 paralyzed much of the east from Alabama to New England. Over 100 inches of snow fell in 5 days around Oswego New York.” And yet, he added, “Climate extremists (isn’t this rich, 20 years ago it was no snow) trying to use this snow as climate change, ignorant of past events”.
Another NBC story passed over the issue in dignified silence, mentioning that “Temperatures are also expected to dip in the U.S. as an arctic blast is forecast to bring the coldest air of the season.” Indeed:
“Much of the country will feel below-average temperatures Thursday, lasting into the weekend. The cold arctic air mass will lead to the first freeze for some large metropolitan areas, such as Atlanta and Washington, D.C., and the first dangerously cold wind chills of the season for Chicago, New York and other places.”
However it filed it under just weather. Many others were not so shy.
A Google search of “lake effect snow climate change” brought 35 million hits including a publication called The Hindu interviewing a self-described “climate scientist at UMass Amherst. In the Climate Dynamics course I teach, students often ask how cold, dry air can lead to heavy snowfall.” But of course there’s nothing climate change can’t do.
So up and down it goes:
“Models predict that with additional warming, more lake-effect snow will occur. But over time, the warming will lead to more of the precipitation falling as lake-effect rain, which already occurs in early fall, rather than snow.”
The Washington Post grabbed the same song sheet: “Human-caused climate change has the potential to intensify lake-effect snow events, at least in the short term, according to the NOAA’s U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit.” Which claims:
“As the region warms and ice cover diminishes in winter, models predict that more lake-effect snow will occur. The predictions change once lake temperatures rise to a point when much of what now falls as snow will instead fall as rain.”
Thus our great-grandchildren won’t know what snow is. This time for sure. So take pictures of, for instance, Buffalo’s 66 inches of snow in 24 hours, an all-time record.
P.S. It’s not just New England. Caspar, Wyoming set cold records. And it’s not just the United States. The state of Victoria, Australia just posted its coldest-ever November temperature while “Western Australia braces for unseasonal cold spring weather as front moves across state.” More weird weather for sure.